Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Recommended Posts

Colleagues:

I am not sure if you came across this article by Steve Schooner and Dan Gordon, but I found it an interesting case to make.  Essentially the authors are arguing that GSA should terminate the contract with the Trump Organization for the work they are doing at the Post Office Pavilion in DC.  Living in DC I avoid politics (I tell my family it is like working at McDonalds....once you live here you don't want to eat the food).  This is not a political argument, however, but a contractual one.

http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2016/11/gsas-trump-hotel-lease-debacle/133424/

In your opinions, what would the correct outcome for this be?  Is GSA compelled to terminate what appears to be a successful contract for the renovation of a historic DC landmark or are there other legal means to address this issue?  They appear to be making the case that the President would not be capable of divesting from his company completely.

I don't know that I agree with them, and their argument appears to be overly lengthy.  In too many paragraphs they state the President would not be capable of divesting, and that his children are already playing a role in his administration which would not make them impartial nor able to disassociate themselves from conflict of interests laws.

I have no legal background, but I can't help but think this is a political argument posed with legal justification on the part of the authors.  I could be wrong.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Article II of our U. S. Constitution covers the President of the United States.  In Article II, Section 1, Clause 7 it states:

Quote

7: The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

I assume a contract with the U. S. Government that pays a President during his/her term would be an emolument and be prohibited by the Constitution as described above.  The National Constitution Center explains that scholars discuss various sections of the Constitution there.  However, I couldn't find any discussion.

 

Edited on 11/30/2016:

I looked for some basic information on the above clause this morning.  I found one site entitled:  Founders' Constitution.  Read the About section of the site for information on the Founders' Constitution. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I listened to an interview with Steve Schooner on NPR yesterday on my way home from work.  Interestingly he didn't say whether it should be a default or convenience termination in his view.  If he did, then I missed it.  He asserted that it would be a breach of contract due to a specific term in the contract which prohibited such a financial conflict of interest.  I haven't read the article above, but in his interview he did suggest that a novation agreement could be done in lieu of terminating the contract. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/29/2016 at 8:34 PM, bob7947 said:

Article II of our U. S. Constitution covers the President of the United States.  In Article II, Section 1, Clause 7 it states:

I assume a contract with the U. S. Government that pays a President during his/her term would be an emolument and be prohibited by the Constitution as described above.  The National Constitution Center explains that scholars discuss various sections of the Constitution there.  However, I couldn't find any discussion.

 

Edited on 11/30/2016:

I looked for some basic information on the above clause this morning.  I found one site entitled:  Founders' Constitution.  Read the About section of the site for information on the Founders' Constitution. 

Bob...I had not posed my question properly.  I am not asking if the President Elect can receive emolument while in office.  I will assume that he divests himself from the company, which he appears to have done.  The authors argue that regardless of doing so, GSA should still be compelled to cancel the contract.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

 

" provided, however, that this provision shall not be construed as extending to any Person who may be a shareholder or other beneficial owner of any publicly held corporation or other entity, if this Lease is for the general benefit of such corporation or other entity. "

https://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/153578

Seems kinda' relevant, no?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...